Image Description: A ballerina on stage
By Atlas Booth
The sounds of Swan Lake act one scene four drifted about. Through, and around, the dusty hall, a lone girl danced. She was the most graceful being on the entire planet. Every movement was precise, but yet so full of happiness and flowing like water. The young girl danced the act to perfection, as befitted her swan song.
It was supposed to be a good evening. Most of the planet was milling around in the streets, fitting in their last bit of shopping for the day. The theatres, meanwhile, were packed out with their patrons, seated for the ballet of the year. Then they came.
A swarm of unyielding tin and static enveloping everything in sight. They razed the city in minutes, the planet within ten. All were destroyed, save for the youngest. They were taken to be moulded. Changed to fight in a war that had never happened, yet was always happening. Changed into a being that haunted nightmares throughout the universe. Changed into their vision of the perfect being. The purest being.
It should have come as no surprise that so many of them became defective. After losing their bodies, it wasn’t long before the mind followed. The memories went next, until only their happiest remained. When they could no longer remember the war cry, they were exiled. They were a blight on their captors’ radars. Their best kept secret.
But politics like this were far beyond her. She was stuck, never to move again, but she was never to know. She was lost, but she was happy. And so, she danced.
Tides 48 is, at time of publication, available to buy through this link